Rich nations have an obligation to fund South Africa’s development of green hydrogen as part of a global effort to decarbonize, according to the presidency’s infrastructure chief.
South Africa has plans to attract as much as $250 billion into green hydrogen, an emerging technology used to split water using renewable energy.
“The developed world has a moral and ethical responsibility to help fund the adoption of green hydrogen,” Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, head of the presidency’s infrastructure office, said on Thursday.
The comments add to a growing debate about who should bear the bulk of costs to decarbonize, when Africa accounts for less than 3% of the world’s energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.
Up to R300 million has been budgeted by the government for research into the hydrogen industry, with input from Germany and Japan, according to Ramokgopa.
South Africa’s priority is to commercialize the export of green hydrogen by using increasingly cleaner feedstock to produce it, he said. The region’s platinum deposits also leave it well-placed to benefit from the use of the metal in fuel cells.